Thursday, April 7, 2016

Getting More with Bybee and High Fidelity Adapters

The traditional approach to audiophilia is when one is bored with their existing gear or curious to see if they are missing out, a new component is researched and auditioned.  Many times through this process a purchase is made, and we step onto the Audio Merry-Go-Round.

It was never our intention to take a never ending ride of upgrades, sideways moves, etc., but human nature being what it is our curiousity propels us down a path that is sometimes circular, but hopefully propels us forward.

I discovered long ago that our components are often times capable of providing greater performance than we are aware of. The room, speaker placement, the electricity feeding our system, mechanical vibrations, and yes our cables are coloring, hindering and robbing our components of their best sound. I would submit that in most cases of upgradeitus that the original owner never realized the full capability of the component they are offloading.

This is where the art of tweaking becomes most useful.

This is also what leads us to this particular blog. Today I want to talk about some recent tweaks from High Fidelity Cables and from Bybee that can help one realize more of the sonic potential offered by one's audio components.
High Fidelity Magnetic RCA Adapters

The High Fidelity Magnetic RCA Adapters

These took the internet by storm about 2 months ago. The adapters from Rick Schultz of High Fidelity Cables are offered in 2 varieties; One for the transmitting end of an interconnect, and one for the destination end of the interconnect. Therefore both ends of the interconnect cable can be treated with magnetism. The reason for the two varieties lies in how the adapters do their thing. They use a series of neodymium magnets whose poles are aligned in such a way as to align the magnetic field in one direction going from source to destination. This alignment is said to reduce noise and to increase signal transmission efficiency.

Our take - We were only able to test the interconnects from source to preamp, as our preamp to power amp connection is balanced only. The Magnetic RCA Adapters appear to remove a haze surrounding all frequencies, Highs seem cleaner, more distinct and clearer. Phase information appears to improve as well, perhaps from a lower noise floor. Bass is cleaner and more distinct, and dynamics improve over the whole spectrum. In our system one set on the destination end from source to preamp provided the most benefit. Many customers have reported that two sets work best for them. Friends, this is why we always recommend auditioning the products in your own system before buying. Every system, every set of ears, and every sonic preference is different...

The Bybee Crystal RCA Bullets

Bybee Crystal Slipstream RCA Adapters

The latest version of Bybee RCA bullets makes use of the existing purifier technology, and the newer crystal technology from Bybee. The build quality on the new series is the best yet, with a hefty feel and a locking barrel to secure the adapter to your component. The sound can best be described as organic and liquid. This was not due to a softening of the highs or dynamics, the music was simply more musical and less electronic sounding. Yes there was more air, more space and a bigger soundstage too. Those familiar with Bybees products will immediately recognize this. But it was the liquid, relaxed flow of the music that I had not heard like this before.

The Combination?

Not being quite as enamored with two sets of High Fidelity Magnetic adapters as we thought we would be, we decided to try the combination of Magnetic and Crystal adapters. The first experiment was with the High Fidelity adapter at the destination end of the interconnect, and that was plugged into the Bybee Adapter which was then plugged into the source component.  It looked something like the illustration below.

Source>>> Interconnect>>>HFC Adapter>>>Bybee Adapter>>>Preamp

This proved to be a synergistic combination. Preserving the clarity and dynamics of the High Fidelity adapter while giving it a musical touch from the Bybee. Placing the bybee at the end of the interconnect, followed by the High Fidelity Adapter which was then connected to the component  proved to be not as good.

Source>>>Interconnect>>>Bybee Adapter>>>HFC Adapter>>>Preamp

The highs were rolled off too much for my tastes. So the Magnetic adapter has to come first, then the Bybee adapter.

With that in mind, our last experiment was to use the source end Magnetic adapters on one end of the interconnect, and the Bybee adapter at the other end.

Source>>>HFC Adapter>>>Interconnect>>>Bybee Adapter>>>Preamp

 This proved to be very similar to the "stacked" adapters at the destination end. A very nice combination indeed.

Digital Too

The combinations worked in the digital realm as well. The overall effect was enhanced low level detail, dynamics, a larger more dimensional soundstage and a better musical wholeness and flow.  The great thing about using the adapters on your digital cable is you only need half as many, reducing your cost.

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